Lord Lothian and the Atlantic world.
Lothian's success represented a surprisingly triumphant climax to a career that had otherwise failed to fulfil his early promise. A first in modern history at New College, Oxford, followed by recruitment to Lord Milner's "Kindergarten" of bright young men who implemented South Africa's post-Boer War reconstruction, won him influential imperialist patrons, such as Milner and his successor as governor, Lord Selborne, son-in-law of the British Prime Minister Lord Salisbury. On leaving South Africa in 1910, Kerr became editor of The Round Table, a journal his Kindergarten colleagues established to promote closer integration within the British Empire. Its editors generally took an affirmative view of moderate state intervention to enhance both social justice and national efficiency, urging labor and capital to cooperate for both their own interests and those of the broader community.
In 1916 Kerr became Liberal Prime Minister Lloyd George's personal secretary, a position he held until 1921, advising his chief on foreign affairs and wielding substantial influence. This position probably represented the peak of Kerr's pre-ambassadorial power, even if, as one observer commented, on occasion "Kerr pumps things into [Lloyd George] and he seems to agree and then he goes and does the opposite." (2) After leaving Lloyd George, throughout the interwar years Kerr wrote and spoke prolifically on those political issues of interest to him, his favorite topics above all international relations, followed by efforts to devise interventionist but nonsocialist solutions to Britain's economic and social difficulties. From 1925 until 1939, Kerr was secretary to the Rhodes Trust, a position so congenial to him he retained it even after inheriting his marquessate in 1930. As a peer, he served briefly in the National Government as chancellor of the duchy of Lancaster and under secretary of state for India, before resigning over the 1932 Ottawa Agreements imposing heavy tariffs on nonempire British imports. For much of the 1930s, Lothian attempted to resolve the growing Anglo-German and Anglo-Italian antagonism, efforts that eventually damaged his reputation and compromised his political effectiveness. (3)
Since Lothian's death, historians have differed sharply over his character and historical significance. His first full-length biographer, J. R. M. Butler, ranked highly his achievements as ambassador, summarizing them thus: "first, that he made it easier for the United States to co-operate with the British Commonwealth in resistance to totalitarian aggression and, secondly, that when time was vital he speeded up the tendency to co-operate." Butler viewed Lothian's major successes as the Destroyers-for-Bases deal and the institution of combined Anglo-American staff talks shortly after his death. (4) Historian David Reynolds concurred, arguing that, despite his occasional carelessness, tendency to speak without due forethought, and oversensitivity to the American perspective, Lothian "built up a close relationship of mutual trust with American leaders"; made excellent use of the press to mobilize public support; and "provided a clear-cut and plausible argument for Anglo-American cooperation"--that American security ultimately depended upon the protection of the British fleet. Reynolds argued that Lothian understood the American political scene far better than most officials in London, noting that more than once Lothian's advice persuaded an initially reluctant Churchill to make it clear that Britain would fight on, no matter what the circumstances, and to make a frank avowal of Britain's needs to President Franklin D. Roosevelt. (5) The initially skeptical Wheeler-Bennett rated especially highly Lothian's efforts to upgrade British public relations in the United States, both through his own speeches and through addresses throughout the country by other members of his staff; the cultivation of sympathetic contacts among the American press and elites; and the establishment of the British Press Service in New York, which provided high-level officials in London with a broad scrutiny of American press coverage of Britain and the war. As Wheeler-Bennett stated:
Throughout the fifteen months of his embassage he never failed to gauge the opinion of America to a nicety. He knew when to cajole and when to shock, when to appeal and when to issue a clarion-call of leadership. His humour was irresistible, his sincerity unquestioned, his statesmanship among the most inspired of our time. His was the hand who laid the foundation of "the Special Relationship." (6)
Nicholas Cull's study of British propaganda in the United States before Pearl Harbor likewise applauded Lothian's skilful management of British public relations, pointing to numerous occasions when he was crucial in orchestrating British propaganda strategy, usually in the direction of providing more accurate information and greater access to American journalists, and describing him as "the single most significant figure in the development of British propaganda in the United States." (7) D. C. Watt concluded: "Lord Lothian's embassy ... was clearly an enormous success," citing the "covert and effective" liaison work between the New York-based British Information Service (BIS) and the interventionist organizations, the Committee to Defend America by Aiding the Allies and the Century Club Group, and BIS use of "inter-war inter-university contacts." (8)
Some assessments of Lothian as ambassador were less flattering. Rhodri Jeffreys-Jones suggested that, far from being the democratic paragon his admirers proclaimed, he was an elitist and racist whose contacts within the United States were largely limited to likeminded patrician Anglophiles, and whose understanding of that country was narrow; whose performance was flawed by his poor judgment, especially by his continuing willingness to contemplate a negotiated peace with Hitler; and whose contribution to Anglo-American relations was distinctly limited. (9) For Norman Rose, when drawing up the account of Lothian's foreign policy achievements, his protracted support for appeasement and for Hitler's Germany, together with his elitist outlook, greatly outweighed any positive contributions he might have made as ambassador. (10)
Others took a more detached view of Lothian's support for appeasement. During his lifetime and after, friends and historians alike suggested that Lothian's guilt over his contribution as Lloyd George's secretary to imposing harsh peace terms upon Germany during the Paris Peace Conference explained his readiness to acquiesce in Adolf Hitler's demands during the 1930s. (11)
In recent years Lothian's reputation has undergone something of a renascence, as a new generation of historians have drawn attention to the posthumous impact of his--and other British--calls for world federalism, or at least a federal union of the Western democracies, in inspiring Altiero Spinelli and associated European intellectual federalists to establish what would eventually become the European Union. (12) Admittedly, John Pinder has drawn attention to the irony that Lothian invariably believed that the closer association of the British Empire or Commonwealth with the United States must be the core and sine qua non of any such union of the European democracies, an outlook he believes accounts for Lothian's failure to put forward any concrete proposals for the development of European unity. (13) Turner, too, raised the "irony" that "European federalists" have "honoured [Lothian] as the intellectual ancestor of a concept which he would hardly have recognised and which would have been quite low in his order of priorities." (14)
Even though his biographer stated that between the wars Lothian "was above all interested in relations with the United States," (15) and assessments of his service as ambassador invariably draw attention to Lothian's longstanding support for closer Anglo-American relations, Lothian's commitment to what might be described as an Atlanticist perspective has been somewhat neglected, and when mentioned, generally subordinated to what were perceived as his broader views on the need to prevent future wars by diluting purely national sovereignty. Turner even suggested that "by the end of his life he had become committed to Pax Anglo-Americana in default of anything else." (16) Several studies of Lothian's activities during World War I and at the Paris Peace Conference are a partial exception, stressing his eagerness to encourage close cooperation between the United States and the British Empire and his belief that continuing Anglo-American collaboration must form the bedrock of any postwar settlement. (17) These only dealt, however, with one short period of his career. Rose on occasion mentioned, albeit somewhat dismissively, Lothian's belief in Anglo-American cooperation, but his first concern was Lothian's role in appeasement. Watt gave the most perceptive characterization of Lothian, regarding him as one of "a numerically very limited but strategically important group of mid-Atlanticist Americophiles" within the interwar British foreign policy elite. (18) In earlier writings Watt also suggested that the Round Table group's objectives gave it "a triple interest in the United States": they viewed it as a country whose success "in the absorption and unification of a great mass of different peoples and traditions" made it a potential model for a united British Empire; they "subscribed largely to the theories that the two countries shared a common culture and a common purpose"; and as a potential ally with whom Britain could establish "an Anglo-American world hegemony" and "dominate the world, widening and strengthening the Pax Britannica, the world order on which they set so much store." (19)
While recognizing the merits of this extensive historiography, this article argues that far from being either an afterthought or a sideshow, dedication to Anglo-American cooperation or, more broadly, collaboration between the British Empire and the United States, was the defining theme of Lothian's entire career. It is no exaggeration to state that both his public service and his multifarious semipublic activities were in many ways an apprenticeship for both the job and the moment of his ambassadorship, which represented only the pinnacle of three decades of effort to develop closer Anglo-American relations. From this perspective, Lothian's public career possessed greater coherence than many have suggested, being dominated by one overall defining theme: a single-minded quest for national advantage and the effort to win the friendship and support of the world's potentially greatest power. This drive accounted, moreover, for this erstwhile political lightweight's success in what was, for Britain in 1939-40, a crucial position. More broadly, his methods and style in pursuing his objectives perhaps go some way toward explaining why, during his lifetime and well beyond, Lothian's character and activities often attracted seemingly excessive--given his fairly secondary political status and influence--extremes of initial condemnation and reproach and subsequent praise.
Kerr was by no means unique in his faith in an Anglo-American alliance, to which significant portions of the elites of Great Britain, Canada, and the United States also subscribed. Beginning with British Prime Minister Lord Salisbury in the late nineteenth century, belief in the desirability of strengthening the empire's defenses through a de facto alliance with the United States was fundamental to the thinking of assorted leading British statesmen. (20) Disseminated in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries by numerous influential historians and political theorists, this outlook suggested that the Anglo-Saxon race, in effect the British and Americans, was uniquely capable of self-government, had evolved the best and most democratic political institutions to date, and shared a common legal, political, and institutional heritage. Such views were often used to justify imperial rule, which, supporters such as Lothian argued, provided good government to peoples incapable of running their own affairs in an orderly fashion. Calls for Anglo-American concord and cooperation thus rested on a sense of racial kinship, reinforced by a variety of business, political, intellectual, personal, and familial ties linking British and American elites. (21) They also drew upon the naval writings of Alfred T. Mahan, which suggested that American national security throughout the nineteenth century ultimately had depended upon the protection of the British fleet, and that in their mutual interests the two countries should therefore harmonize their defense policies. (22)
Reflecting his own early interest in the idea, Kerr, then twenty-seven, sent former Conservative prime minister Arthur Balfour a memorandum in 1909, written by the French naval attache in Berlin, recommending that Britain and the United States should join together to form "an Anglo-Saxon Federation" capable of dominating the seas, guaranteeing peace, and checking German imperialism. Kerr suggested Balfour should forward this document to ex-President Theodore Roosevelt, who was about to embark on a tour of the world, in the hope that Roosevelt would be "inspired to lay the foundation of an Anglo-American alliance" that would, he trusted, also persuade Roosevelt to reject such alternatives as "a German-American alliance." (23)
On a personal level, for Kerr the United States perhaps soon came to represent an avenue of liberation from social pressures and from the burden of personal and political expectations his admiring family and friends placed upon him. Before World War I, Kerr visited the United States in 1909 and again in 1912. His first reaction was straightforward: "I like America." (24) Kerr quickly imbibed an enthusiastic "affectionate admiration" for the United States, telling a British audience in 1939, "I always feel fifteen years younger when I land in New York." (25) In 1912 he told the architect Sir Herbert Baker how exhilarating he found it to walk through or contemplate the skyscrapers of San Francisco, Chicago, or New York, and that--by contrast to American literature, music, and painting--the country's "architecture has caught the modern American spirit of boundless material enterprise, boundless confidence and boundless energy." (26) One of his major objections to inheriting his title was, it seems, his fear this would "quite spoil the pleasure I used to have in travelling to the New World. One cannot fail to be unpleasantly conspicuous." (27) One may plausibly speculate that Kerr's feelings for the United States bore some connection to his lifelong comfortable platonic devotion to the firmly married American-born Nancy, Lady Astor, whom he met in 1912, a relationship that effectively afforded him a virtual second family and the use of several luxurious mansions, and to his 1914 conversion to her American faith of Christian Science. These two associations not only alleviated his earlier protracted psychosomatic illnesses, but also furnished a convenient escape from both an increasingly irksome and confining Roman Catholicism and family pressures to marry and beget an heir to the title he would eventually inherit.
The outbreak of war in 1914 seems to have intensified Kerr's existing pro-American leanings as, emphasizing the idealistic interpretation of the war, he sought to win Britain a favorable hearing in the United States. Kerr's articles repeatedly discussed the future international role of the United States, while for his British and Dominion readers he provided an American perspective. In 1915 he recruited the Canadian-born historian George Louis Beer, of New York's Columbia College, who published a wartime book urging unity and collaboration among the English-speaking peoples, to write regular articles on American issues for the journal. (28) In his own articles, Kerr consciously sought to persuade American opinionmakers that their country should follow pro-Allied policies and eventually take a far larger role in world affairs, preferably in collaboration with the British Empire. One tactic Kerr employed then and later was to compare the issues at stake in the Great War and the domestic and international problems it generated with those Abraham Lincoln had encountered during the American Civil War and "the experience of the great sister-democracy in the United States in its struggle for existence half a century ago." (29) In other assorted American analogies, Kerr referred to the early state of lawlessness in the American West, the Monroe Doctrine, and antebellum Americans' disobedience on grounds of conscience to the fugitive slave law. (30) He also addressed particular incidents with the potential to disrupt relations between the Allies and the United States. In November 1915, for example, President Woodrow Wilson issued a note championing the cause of neutral rights against all belligerents. Shortly afterwards, Kerr warned that, if the president pushed this policy of neutrality, he would "hinder the triumph of that national liberty of which the American people are themselves among the foremost champions." While not discounting the possibility that the United States might, as Wilson wished, successfully mediate the conflict, Kerr urged that "her Government should no longer screen itself behind the fiction of neutrality and should declare as the basis of its policy the undoubted determination of the American people to do nothing to help tyranny to vanquish liberty in Europe." (31) In June 1916, after several American civilians died when a German submarine torpedoed the Sussex, a channel steamer, he applauded Wilson's "ultimatum to Germany, requiring the abandonment of submarine warfare against merchant shipping on the ground that it was necessarily inconsistent with common humanity." "It means," Kerr stated, "that America has taken a stand for the reign of law as against the reign of force, not on the American continent alone, but throughout the world." With ill-concealed satisfaction, he noted that America "may have to go to war to vindicate the principles for which she stands." (32)
Kerr further urged that the United States not simply follow policies of differential neutrality favoring the Allies, but participate actively in the postwar settlement. In mid-1915 the pro-Allied United States ambassador to the court of St. James, Walter Hines Page, who himself subscribed to the Mahanist thesis that American security depended upon British sea power, reported that Kerr believed that closer Anglo-American relations must form the bedrock of any postwar settlement, and was "red hot for a close and perfect understanding between Great Britain and the United States." Although Page felt that Kerr exaggerated the degree to which the war experience had encouraged democracy in Britain, and believed that Britain should not expect to dominate such an arrangement, he was fundamentally sympathetic to Kerr's thesis. (33) As ambassador, Page effectively endorsed Kerr's reiterated pleas for American acquiescence in British wartime policies and, ultimately, for American support. (34)
From World War I onward, Kerr argued that international noninvolvement was selfish, and that "[t]he problems of humanity will only be solved if all civilized powers co-operate in finding the solution." This, he believed, "involves the establishment of a permanent conference of the great powers." In December 1915 he appealed specifically to the United States to be "a member of the Peace Conference, and of the Concert [of Nations] into which it may grow," warning that "on her decision all the hopes of human unity will hang. By breaking with her long-established national tradition and assuming common responsibilities for maintaining right and justice throughout the world she can probably save the world from another Armageddon. By clinging to the policy of isolation she can condemn mankind to another era of estrangement and war." (35) Sounding themes that would recur throughout his career, the following March Kerr implicitly suggested that American and British sea power be enhanced and restrictions upon its effectiveness removed, since "sea power is and must be the chief sanction behind international liberty and right." (36) In his most forthright statement to date, three months later he declared: "The creation of a new international order depends mainly upon the Allies and America." While stating that the British Empire would still bear the heaviest burden of all, he continued: "It is essential that America, also, should take part in the work of international reconstruction." (37)
Kerr's courtship of American opinion habitually enveloped pleas for self-interested national aims in an ample cloak of high-minded, idealistic rhetoric, a tactic that would become his future trademark. It is interesting to speculate what impact his writings had on the influential Americans he sought to reach. Certainly as early as summer 1915 Walter Hines Page, the pro-Allied ambassador in London and a former magazine editor, described The Round Table as "the best review, I dare say, in the world", and the Round Table group as "perhaps the best group of men here for the real study and free discussion of large political subjects." (38) Characterizing its objectives as "[t]he maintenance of the British Commonwealth of Nations ... [and] the furtherance of close and friendly relations between the Commonwealth and the United States," The Round Table had a circulation of only two hundred, mostly in educated Northeastern circles, but its editors congratulated themselves on how many of these subscribers were influential members of the American elite. (39)
From December 1916 until early 1921, Kerr was no longer merely a commentator, but one of Prime Minister David Lloyd George's private secretaries with particular responsibility for Anglo-American affairs. In this capacity he dealt closely with visiting American journalists, attempting to persuade them to present the British case on such controversial issues as Ireland. During the war Kerr's already numerous American contacts expanded dramatically, as he encountered visiting officials, bankers, pressmen, and academics, with some of whom he developed lifelong friendships. He often advised Lloyd George how to slant his speeches and public pronouncements, especially on such matters as liberal war aims and Irish problems, so as best to accord with American sensibilities. (40) Kerr's governmental activities illuminated the vision of the postwar world at the core of his idealistic earlier pronouncements. Kerr remained eager to draw the United States irrevocably into international involvements, preferably on the Atlanticist model. One of his early tasks for Lloyd George was to help him draft a letter to Wilson, welcoming the American president into the war, and staking a claim to a special relationship of close cooperation between Britain and the United States, the two powers upon whom, the premier argued, the primary responsibility both for winning the war and devising an acceptable postwar settlement would ultimately rest. (41) Kerr was also eager to moderate American hostility to colonialism by persuading the United States to accept similar quasi-colonial responsibilities, a mandate over Armenia, for example. (42) In 1918 and 1919 Kerr, together with Maurice Hankey, the long-time secretary to the British cabinet, was a central figure in protracted though ultimately unsuccessful British efforts to modify the League of Nations from the blueprint envisaged by Wilson, attempting to create a body with less extensive powers, particularly in terms of compulsory sanctions against transgressor nations. This organization would effectively build upon the inter-Allied agencies of economic control and political consultation created in the war's final two years, and be dominated by the United States and Britain. (43) As soon as the Senate rejected the League of Nations, Kerr also drafted tentative strategies whereby the Allies might be able to accept United States entry into the League of Nations with such reservations as the Senate might require, schemes that generally involved the jettisoning or dilution of British obligations under the Treaty of Versailles, especially its obligations to the French to uphold a settlement over which Kerr had already demonstrated major misgivings. Such modifications, he argued, would mean that the League would "sooner or later secure the whole-hearted support of American opinion," and thereby enhance its prospects of success. (44)
From this time onward Kerr's deepest political conviction remained apparently unchanged: his belief in the desirability of Anglo-American understanding as the foundation for any workable international order. Kerr became perhaps the most dedicated and eventually the most prominent interwar British advocate of this perspective, engaging in a wide variety of efforts to entice, allure, or persuade the United States into close cooperation with the British Empire, and to promote Anglo-American harmony. In 1920 he told a clergyman, in words he could easily, mutatis mutandis, have written any time in the next twenty years:
There is no more important work than to establish a good Understanding between the American and British democracies. The future largely depends upon the co-operation of all the great Western democracies in the colossal task of rebuilding the world on better lines than those which crashed in ruins during the great war. It is especially on our two countries that the responsibility rests because they have now in especial degree, the wealth, and as I believe, the ideals, necessary to the making of a new and better world. That Great Britain and America will be able, despite all hostile and estranging propaganda, to co-operate in this work, I also believe, because the ideals which lie at the bottom of their social, political and religious life are fundamentally the same. (45)
Befitting his preoccupation with America, Kerr's concern throughout the 1920s remained whether and how Britain might persuade the United States to work in cooperation with other nations, rather than following unilateralist policies. (46) "It is not too much to say," he wrote in 1922, "that if the British Commonwealth is to survive, and if the world is to be guided towards unity and peace, it is essential that the United States and the British Commonwealth should act in friendly co-operation." (47) Putting his belief in Anglo-American cooperation into practice, in 1922 Kerr joined several prominent Anglophile Americans in a lecture series on international problems at Williams College in Williamstown, Massachusetts. Kerr used these lectures to urge the United States to break with isolationism and, in partnership with Britain, take a more active role in running the world. In 1922 he warned Americans that in any international organization force was needed to back up the rule of law; that "the most serious blow" to European peace since the war had been "the withdrawal of [America's] presence and counsel from the consideration of post-war problems"; that nations needed "to recognize that they belong to the larger community of nations"; and that the United States and Britain should "combin[e] with other nations to give some kind of constitutional system to the world." (48) There "has been placed in a special way upon the shoulders of the English-speaking nations in this century," he declared,
the task of helping mankind to draw up and establish that just world constitution without which it can have neither lasting peace, freedom, nor opportunity. No other peoples seem so well situated to take the lead, though they can and will cooperate; and it seems to me that America, with its high ideals, its great traditions, its immense strength, is inevitably marked out to take a leading part in this work.
Kerr even suggested this was God's particular mission for the United States, the reason it was so wealthy and powerful. (49)
In 1925 Kerr was given yet another opportunity to encourage Anglo-American cooperation when he became secretary to the Rhodes Trust. Established in 1903 under the will of Cecil Rhodes, the Rhodes Trust was designed to foster relations among the Anglo-Saxon races, primarily by providing funds for American and Empire students to attend Britain's Oxford University. Kerr used his position as secretary to deepen his knowledge of the United States by visiting annually, travelling extensively in almost every continental state and acquiring considerable understanding of the American political system as well as a near-legendary network of friends from the political, academic, journalistic, and Christian Science worlds. So significant did Kerr believe the scholarships to be that in 1929 he used his political influence in Britain to push through Parliament a bill altering the terms of Rhodes's will, so that scholarships need no longer rotate automatically through each American state, but were allocated on merit in larger districts of six states apiece. Kerr and the Rhodes trustees feared smaller states lacked sufficient outstanding candidates with the potential for distinguished elite careers, and their intention was to raise not only the intellectual caliber but also the long-term impact of future Rhodes scholars. As Kerr reported to his trustees in 1926: "Half a dozen men of real influence and ability in public life, in education, in journalism, in law or in business can do a thousandfold more than hundreds of average men who never attain to any position of influence outside their own immediate circle of acquaintances." (50) Symbolically, Kerr suggested that, whereas Wilson's ideas of international organization had been too ambitious, there was much to be said for "the Rhodes thesis that the first step towards stable world peace is the re-construction in some form of the wartime association of the English-speaking nations and also France (in place of Germany) as a genuinely liberal power." He even hoped to stage a public debate on "the question of Wilson vs. Rhodes." (51) Kerr's tenure as secretary lasted until 1939, far lengthier than any previous secretary's, and enabled him to undertake his most sustained work yet for Anglo-American relations.
In the public domain Kerr's drive to promote Anglo-American harmony focused particularly upon three often contentious issues: the League of Nations; Anglo-American naval relations; and economic questions, on all of which he wrote and spoke extensively, generally attempting to expound the British position in the United States and the American viewpoint to his own countrymen. (52) Kerr's efforts to accomplish these objectives were conducted principally though by no means entirely within two linked institutions, the Royal Institute of International Affairs or Chatham House, founded at the Paris Peace Conference in 1919, and its American sister organization, the Council on Foreign Relations.
Kerr's persistent misgivings over the existing League of Nations and his desire to cooperate with the United States both encouraged his strong predilection to withdraw from European affairs. In 1922 he applauded the British government's refusal to make "an Anglo-French alliance pledging British military support in the event of any infringement of the Treaty of Versailles by Germany." The League, he thought, should restrict itself to considering such issues as "armaments, the use of the high seas, colour problems, the treatment of backward peoples or minorities, all world questions which must all be looked at from a world point of view." (53) Kerr opposed Britain's 1924 adherence to the Geneva Protocol, whereby it recognized an obligation to back League decisions with economic or military sanctions, and welcomed the new Baldwin government's veto of it in March 1925. (54) Only reluctantly did he endorse the Locarno agreements of October 1925, whereby Britain, France, Germany, Italy, and Belgium signed security treaties recognizing and guaranteeing each others' frontiers. (55) Soon afterwards he declared that the League "ought to concentrate on one thing and one thing only on developing both public opinion and machinery behind this idea that no alteration of the existing status quo in any part of the world, and that no settlement of an international dispute should be attempted by force, until after the constitutional procedure laid down in the Covenant has been invoked." He continued: "The attempt, made in the [League] Protocol, to link up the League with special problems, such as the stability of the Versailles settlement or the Franco-German problem, is fundamentally unsound and destructive of the central concept of the League." Issues such as the Rhineland problem and international security guarantees should, he argued by settled by "ordinary diplomatic means apart from the League." (56)
In 1928 the United States took the lead in sponsoring the Kellogg-Briand Peace Pact, an agreement whereby fifteen leading nations, including the United States, Great Britain and its dominions, assorted European countries (though not Russia), and Japan agreed "to renounce war as an instrument of national policy." Kerr promptly launched a protracted and energetic though ultimately abortive campaign to persuade the British League of Nations Union to demand the modification of the League Covenant so as to eliminate provisions for automatic mandatory sanctions, thereby making it consonant with the pact. His hope was that such amendments would induce American officials to agree to consultations among Kellogg Pact signatories should a situation likely to result in war arise, effectively leading the United States to work more closely with the League and perhaps even accept some form of membership. (57)
In the later 1920s Anglo-American naval relations were particularly strained, as the British evaded the ratios imposed under the 1921-22 Washington Conference treaties by building cruisers, which fell outside these agreements. By 1927 Kerr was corresponding with British Admiralty officials, suggesting potential strategies to allay Anglo-American naval suspicions. (58) He also published several articles on naval policy in The Round Table, dispatching numerous copies of each to influential friends in the United States, Britain, and the Dominions, and in March 1928 addressed the National Council for the Prevention of War on the subject. (59) He also suggested to former Secretary of State Frank B. Kellogg that, before beginning formal negotiations, "the British and American governments should satisfy themselves that they are within reach of an agreement." (60) In a memorandum he circulated in 1929, Kerr sounded familiar themes:
The key to the Anglo-American naval problem, to the disarmament problem, to the problem of making the Kellogg Pact effective is the same. It is that the signatories of the Pact of Paris, and especially the United States and Great Britain should agree, or at least publicly recognise, that they are all vitally interested in any threat to the peace of the world, and, on such threat arising, will take counsel together as to how hostilities can be prevented. (61)
Working through both the Royal Institute of International Affairs and the Council on Foreign Relations, Kerr spearheaded efforts to alleviate the growing tensions between the United States and Britain, primarily by establishing coordinated study groups. In 1928-29 Chatham House established a "Special Group on Anglo-American Relations," chaired by Kerr, whose findings predictably contended that close cooperation between the two powers was in the best interests of both. Kerr argued that Britain and the United States shared common political ideals and economic interests, while no territorial disputes divided them. Going beyond mere conflict avoidance, he concluded by effectively urging Anglo-American international condominium, arguing: "If the United States and Great Britain really make up their minds not only not to go to war with one another as they have more or less done, but that they will use their whole influence and power to prevent other powers from settling their disputes by war, at any rate on the high seas, the risk of their getting to cross purposes about interference with one another's trade in time of war becomes immensely less. As usual the best safeguard for peace and friendly relations is a common understanding about political questions." (62)
The corresponding American group's June 1929 report, as might be expected, drew substantially upon recent articles by Kerr in International Affairs and The Round Table. (63) It argued that war between the United States and Britain should be unthinkable and that, while economic concerns might cause dissension, the only reason such a conflict might arise was potential British interference with United States shipping in a war in which America remained neutral. Conceding that "public opinion in the United States is determined to have a substantial navy and has a firm intention that it shall be equal to the British," it suggested that the two countries should accept parity of 400,000 tons apiece in cruisers, the major point of contention between the two sides. It also suggested that, since there was no guarantee that the Kellogg-Briand Pact alone would prevent future wars, Britain and the United States should coordinate their policies toward subsequent controversies between other nations. Fearing that the Senate would not ratify such a treaty, the group recommended that, following the precedent of the hallowed Monroe Doctrine, it should be implemented by executive action. (64) In effect, such a strategy would have realized the Anglo-American condominium that Kerr, like many leading council figures, had long envisaged and sought. In practice, even though it did not implement these broader suggestions, the 1930 London Naval Conference drew on institute and council recommendations to settle many of the outstanding matters dividing the United States and Britain.
As the European situation began to deteriorate in the 1930s, Lothian's longstanding distrust of the League of Nations intensified. As early as 1931 he advised the British government that, should the forthcoming European disarmament conference break down, Britain should withdraw from European affairs and consider as nonbinding any obligation to participate in a war in Europe. (65) League of Nations sanctions against nations defined as aggressors were, he feared, virtually bound to prove ineffective. (66) Lothian effectively endorsed the viewpoint of his friend, The Round Table's editor John Dove, that Britain should "avoid committal to any side in Europe," and above all should deliberately "take the line most likely to bring America in in the hour of need, and to enable us even before then to co-operate." (67) Speaking in 1934 at Chatham House, Lothian suggested that Britain restrict its European commitments to a guarantee of French and Belgian security, and otherwise withdraw from the European system, comments he repeated in another address in the same forum in April 1936. (68) In a lengthy personal letter, Lothian proceeded to urge these arguments upon Foreign Secretary Anthony Eden. (69) Again, in 1937 he told the House of Lords that Britain should emulate the United States in adopting a policy of "armed neutrality," and that "the only way in which the world can be guaranteed against another world war and security for democracy ensured" would be "if both the United States and Great Britain stand outside any alliance system either in Europe or in the Far East." (70)
Intensifying his call for Anglo-American cooperation in the mid-1930s, Lothian suggested that, in any international crisis, Britain and the United States should call a conference to determine the aggressor, impose international economic sanctions upon the nation specified as the aggressor, and employ both countries' naval forces to enforce such an embargo. (71) After addressing the Council on Foreign Relations and holding private discussions with various American officials and ex-officials, he also warned the British Foreign Office, which treated his arguments with some skepticism, that in the interests of maintaining Anglo-American concord, Britain must coordinate its Far Eastern policies with those of the United States, and if necessary adopt a firmly anti-Japanese line and support Chinese independence to that end. (72)
Another key aspect of interwar Europe was of course Germany, but despite the later allegations made against him, Lothian was not an apologist for Nationalist Socialist Leader Adolf Hitler; indeed, he had no great love for what he termed "dictatorship and racialism," and his initial reaction when Hitler gained power in 1933 was to cite this as yet one more argument to entice the United States out of international noninvolvement. (73) Through his Christian Science and Rhodes associates in Germany and other sources, Lothian was familiar with many of the repressive features of Nazi rule, even though he chose to blame these upon the treatment defeated Germany had endured. (74) While supporting British rearmament, until the late 1930s Lothian hoped to reach a lasting settlement with the Nazis, one whose concessions would, he argued, eventually moderate the nature of the regime. He urged Hitler and other German leaders to bring Germany back into the League in exchange for the convening of a conference to consider grievances and other international questions. (75) In 1936 he told Foreign Secretary Eden of his confidence that, if appropriate concessions were made to Germany, there was "a good chance of the 25 years peace of which Hitler spoke." (76) In May 1937 Lothian sent Neville Chamberlain, the British prime minister, Eden, other British leaders, South African Minister of Justice Jan Christiaan, Smuts, and United States President Franklin D. Roosevelt accounts of his conversations with Hitler, Field Marshal Hermann Goering, and Reichsbank President Hjalmar Schacht, suggesting that, although the situation was "dangerous," German demands for union with Austria and a free hand in eastern Europe were not unreasonable. He also propounded these views in articles in The Times. (77) Although Lothian felt some initial misgivings, he eventually supported the Munich agreement of September 1938. (78) Only the German occupation of Prague in March 1939 convinced him, as it did so many others, that compromise with Hitler was impossible. (79)
Rather than stemming from a partiality for Hitler, the guiding principle of Lothian's interwar diplomacy was the effort to avoid British entanglements in conflicts his country might not be able to win without outside assistance. While some historians have cited Lothian's guilt over his part in imposing harsh peace terms on Germany or his religious and moral principles as explanations for his attitude toward Hitler's regime, it is worth noting that he made no real effort to address German grievances until Germany became strong enough to pose a major challenge to British power. Lothian's rather desperate efforts to avert war by reaching some kind of understanding with Hitler, by offering Germany colonies in Africa, for instance, arguably arose not primarily from his belief that the postwar settlement had unfairly disadvantaged Germany, but from a cold-blooded calculation that, without American support and assistance, Britain was too weak to oppose Germany alone. In the mid-1930s Lothian's readiness to abandon eastern Europe to Germany, even at the risk this would lead it into war with the Soviet Union, shocked both William Dodd, the American ambassador to France, and William Bullitt, the first American ambassador to the Soviet Union. Dodd wrote of receiving a letter from Lothian that
indicated clearly that he favors a coalition of the democracies to block any German move in their direction and to turn Germany's course eastwards. That this might lead to a war between Russia and Germany does not seem to disturb him seriously. In fact he seems to feel this would be a good solution of the difficulties imposed on Germany by the Versailles Treaty. The problem of the democracies, as he sees it, is to find for Japan and Germany a stronger place in world affairs to which, in his opinion, they are entitled because of their power and tradition. He hopes this can be accomplished without any sacrifice to the British Empire ... (80)
In early 1937 the CFR and the RIIA each established subgroups on war debts and trade practices that exchanged highly confidential memoranda and other documents across the Atlantic and commented on their proposals and analyses. Lothian joined the war debts subgroup, which attempted to devise a settlement of the war debts to the United States, on which Britain had defaulted in 1933, that the British could afford and Americans would accept. The British proposals were largely drafted by Lothian's banker friend Robert H. Brand and the economists Geoffrey Crowther and Hubert Henderson, but Lothian commented extensively on them, especially from the perspective of making them politically acceptable in both the United States and Britain. He suggested that, in the interests of improving Anglo-American relations, Britain resume at least token payments on its debt. (81) Eager to tackle all outstanding issues disturbing Anglo-American relations, in spring 1938 he also sought to expand the Anglo-American Group's scope to include Far Eastern questions. (82)
While attempting to resolve outstanding Anglo-American contentions, Lothian simultaneously continued his self-appointed mission to explain British policies to influential Americans. Thus, in the early to mid-1930s, Lothian addressed the Council on Foreign Relations at least four times, on diverse topics including British policies in India, "The Future Government of Asia," naval policies in the Pacific, and, in 1936, "The Present World Crisis." (83) On the latter occasion he warned that collective security had broken down and that, although Britain had finally embarked on rearmament, war either between Russia and Germany or between Germany and the Western powers might well occur before this program was complete, in which case a knockout blow was possible. He apparently stated that all the work of the League had been excellent, except for its efforts to prevent war. He also brought up the belief he had expressed in his well-publicized Burge Lecture the previous year, that a European federation involving "some kind of a federal government and a federal army" was essential to the maintenance of European and possibly world peace, an interesting concept, even though its implementation would at that time have been virtually unattainable. (84)
Lothian's advocacy of federalism as a solution to international problems was a continuation of the tactics he had used ever since the First World War, of effectively bridging the admittedly sometimes less-than-clearcut division between Wilsonian universalists and Rooseveltian Atlanticists, and of shrouding a limited and specific national goal, the creation of an Anglo-American alliance, in an expansive cloak of idealistic rhetoric. In his 1922 and 1923 Williamstown lectures Kerr had advocated federalism, urging that, to solve the continuing problem of war, nations should relinquish their sovereign powers relating to the making of war to a higher federal authority. Lothian viewed such arrangements as potential alternatives to the League of Nations, and specifically stated that they were based upon the late-eighteenth-century federal structure devised by Alexander Hamilton for the United States. In 1935 he specified that only democratic nations could or should enter into such a compact, possibly initially through a European federation and an Anglo-American federation, thus neatly squaring the circle to reconcile his universalist and Atlanticist predilections. Anglo-American unity was his immediate objective, even though world federation remained the putative, but very distant, ultimate goal. Finally abandoning his quest to modify the League of Nations, Lothian argued that that organization had effectively failed because it lacked the capability to address the problems generated by nationalism. (85)
Lothian gave more concrete evidence of his inclinations in his proposal, early in 1937, to former secretary of state Henry L. Stimson, that the best means of avoiding war was for "Pan-America and the British Commonwealth to re-create the situation created earlier by Great Britain alone which prevented world war between 1815 and 1914--that is to say to create a group of peace loving and democratic nations sufficiently strong that nobody will think of attacking them and sufficiently self-contained to avoid being dragged into the whirlpool of a local European or Far Eastern War." Such a combination, he believed, would be able to prevent or at least localize wars and "to bring about a just instead of an unjust peace." (86) In 1938 and 1939 Lothian became an enthusiastic supporter of the scheme for "Federal Union" or "Union Now," a strongly Atlanticist compact between the Western democracies, the British Dominions, and the United States, advocated then and for a subsequent twenty years by Clarence Streit, a New York Times journalist. Even though he apparently considered the plan as promulgated to be unfeasible, Lothian thought its wide discussion would generate more practicable proposals with better chances of implementation, and perhaps an effective Anglo-American alliance. (87)
To the consternation of most British Foreign Office permanent functionaries and other British opponents of appeasement, in August 1938 Lothian's close friend Lord Halifax, the new foreign secretary, who valued his American expertise, persuaded Lothian to become ambassador to the United States, a post he took up one year later, just as World War II began in Europe. (88) In practice, Lothian's efforts to reach some modus vivendi with Hitler and Mussolini proved little obstacle to his ambassadorial effectiveness. Indeed, on appeasement his Anglophile American friends were as divided as British policymakers. Some shared the proappeasement outlook of Lothian and his close friends Waldorf and Nancy Astor, supporting the Munich agreement, not because they liked or admired Hitler, but in the belief that a European war would probably destroy the British Empire, while the survival of Czechoslovakia and other Central European states was not a cause worth fighting for. Others contended that Britain and, indeed, the United States, should resolutely oppose the fascist powers, and were allied with such British opponents of Lothian as Wheeler-Bennett and Vansittart. Whether for or against appeasement, however, Lothian's American associates generally united in support for American rearmament, opposition to the neutrality legislation of the later 1930s, and a deep conviction that, should war eventuate, the United States should range itself decisively with the Allies and do everything possible to facilitate an Allied victory over the fascist powers. (89) Indeed, despite his occasional twitting of Lothian over his past support for appeasement, Roosevelt himself, who in 1938 cabled Chamberlain "Good Man" as the latter departed for Munich, had scant excuse to be critical with regard to the possibility of war.
The opposition to Lothian's appointment notwithstanding, many on both sides of the Atlantic judged him well suited to his position. John Buchan encouraged Lothian "at all costs" to accept the appointment as ambassador: "He knows America well, and above all he likes Americans, and there are no people more susceptible to liking." (90) British Labour politician Hugh Dalton considered him "the sort of man Americans like; very quick to take local colour ... and very fond of 'large ideas,' particularly in a vague and unfinished form." (91) Even more accurately, the hostile Oscar Gass of the American Treasury, who feared that Lothian "will be a big success in the United States" and "as influential an ambassador as has ever been sent us by Great Britain," suggested that Lothian would use "equalitarian," even "Socialist" and "left-wing" rhetoric and "outdo the State Department in the rhetorical force of his sermons," but that, after uttering a "high-sounding prelude in favor of world federation," he would pursue nationalistic British goals and seek "to create the background for American support of Great Britain should the latter ultimately be forced into a war in defense of her imperial interests." (92) Fuelled by pro-Soviet sympathies, Gass rather perceptively identified the manner in which, to quote Watt, Lothian's rhetoric habitually embodied "that curious combination of power-political principles and Wilsonian morality which ruled international politics between the wars." (93)
On occasion Lothian undoubtedly stumbled. His initial assessment of American attitudes was far too optimistic. In spring 1939, before Lothian's appointment became public, John Buchan told his brother, "Philip Lothian, who was here last week, and has been all over the States in the last two months, said the change in opinion there was perfectly amazing. In his opinion the President would carry the people with him if he announced that the American fleet would join the British fleet in policing the seas of the world if there were any attempt at brigandage. That would be the surest way to secure peace, for the long peace of the nineteenth century was due to the omnipotence of the British navy." (94) At this time Lothian handed Secretary of State Cordell Hull a memorandum suggesting that, if Great Britain and France manifested "a firm intention and preparedness to defend themselves," in the interests of avoiding war the United States conceivably might respond "not only by supplying the Western Democracies with the implements and materials of defense but by making it clear that she would not tolerate their being forcibly squeezed or attacked." (95)
But his vision of an ideal world order remained unchanged. He still believed that, as he told Smuts, "[i]n the long run ... everything depends upon the United States abandoning its philosophy of neutrality." In his view, "the only foundation for world peace was close co-operation between the British Commonwealth and the United States for the restoration of the nineteenth century British system operated not by Britain alone but the whole English-speaking world." This, he felt, would provide a "nucleus" for a League of Nations backed by "overwhelming superiority of power behind the law." The dominant powers in this organization should "be able both to maintain overwhelming superiority in armaments behind the League system and to limit the armaments of individual nations." Readying himself to depart for Washington, Lothian confessed it was his "dream that in the United States I may be able to help promote such an end." (96)
Many of Lothian's ambassadorial speeches carefully expounded his perennial theme--that in the past American security and the Monroe Doctrine had depended upon the British fleet, but that the country could now no longer rely upon such free protection. Indicative of Lothian's influence is the fact that he became so closely identified with this view, which together with his demand for postwar Anglo-American cooperation was also propounded by his close friend Walter Lippmann, that in British governmental circles it was later termed the "Lothian thesis." (97) His earlier sanguine outlook had, however, evaporated, and he now repeatedly told correspondents:
The United States is beginning to feel that as things are going, it will eventually be forced into the war. She won't go in of her own accord, but she is in no sense Pacifist and will intervene when her own vital interests are menaced, that is, when she is far too late, after the time has passed when she can do something effective to prevent the spread of the conflict and when the cost to herself will be enormous. In other words, she is going to behave very much as we did during the last five years. (98)
Lothian never, however, abandoned his overriding faith in Anglo-American cooperation, telling Dalton on a brief visit to Britain in autumn 1940 of a plan for "a standing council in Washington representing all the states of pan-America and the British Commonwealth," which would coordinate their political, economic, and strategic collaboration in every field both during and after the war. Lothian also enthusiastically discussed with the Round Table associates this proposal for a "Pan-American-British Empire Conference" or "Amphictionic Council for the British Commonwealth and the United States," which, according to him, originated with Roosevelt. (99)
Lothian's long experience of the United States and multifarious contacts with Americans undoubtedly gave him decided advantages in his assignment as ambassador. Although Lothian diplomatically--in every sense of the word--eschewed formal involvement with such pro-Allied organizations as the Century Group and the Committee to Defend America by Aiding the Allies, his close connections with individuals intimately involved in these organizations meant that, in practice, unofficially they consulted and informed him of their activities, and on occasion he furnished them with confidential British information. Lothian's efforts to enhance the influence of Rhodes scholars bore fruit during his time as ambassador, when many of the most committed American interventionists were former Rhodes scholars. (100) Likewise, Lothian's tenure as ambassador benefited from his earlier relations with the U.S. media. As Wheeler-Bennett remarked, Americans generally liked the "democratic, easygoing, informal and ever-accessible Lord Lothian." (101) Raymond Lee commented: "[T]he fact that he had written for the newspapers and could therefore parade himself as a journalist ... immediately put him on a first-rate basis with the newspaper fraternity in Washington, and he exploited it to the utmost." (102) Moreover, Lothian's contacts with the profoundly pro-Allied proprietors and editors of the press of the East Coast and beyond ensured favorable coverage for his speeches and other utterances, in which he repeatedly stressed the theme that U.S. security ultimately depended upon the British fleet, a theme the Century Group and the CDAA quickly took up. Despite a tendency to shoot from the hip, which occasionally compromised British negotiations with the United States, Lothian was an effective advocate for Anglo-American relations. Even his last speech, pleading for additional American aid and delivered on his behalf the evening before his death, helped to lay the groundwork for Lend-Lease.
For thirty years, Lothian adhered to one remarkably consistent perspective on Anglo-American relations, based upon Mahanist naval strategic teachings and British imperial needs and bolstered by appeals to shared values and ideology. In England's hour of desperate need, Lothian's decades of American contacts proved their worth and his peculiar mix of talents came into full play, triumphantly vindicating his friend Halifax's controversial gamble in appointing him. No longer a slightly eccentric voice crying in the wilderness, he watched his visions of Anglo-American collaboration begin their transformation into reality. Churchill noted how, under the stress of crisis, the agreeable lightweight had become "an earnest, deeply-stirred man ... primed with every aspect and detail of the American attitude," a personality whose advice persuaded Churchill to be far more frank with Roosevelt than he had originally intended. (103) Lothian's propaganda efforts before and during World War II did much to popularize what would become the Realist foreign policy tradition enshrining his fundamental outlook. Ironically, the effort of fighting the war would destroy the British Empire whose preservation had been one of Lothian's great preoccupations, make Britain at best a junior partner in the Anglo-American alliance he had long sought to promote, and propel western Europe toward the federalism he had rather vaguely suggested. The ending of the British Empire was implicit in Lothian's finest hour, and in his own terms perhaps justified his 1930s desire to avoid war by all means possible, even by conciliating highly unsavory dictators and abandoning much of eastern Europe to them.
Yet Lothian, though a successful ambassador, was scarcely the "democrat" his posthumous admirers depicted. An easygoing and approachable style elegantly disguised a decidedly elitist outlook. Throughout his career Lothian invariably sought to influence those who possessed either direct power or the ability to sway public opinion, and Reynolds and Cull clearly demonstrate that as ambassador he still followed such strategies. Nor, despite his frequent appeals to morality and high principles, was Lothian simply Beatrice Webb's "ultra-refined aristocratic dreamer, with sentimentally revolutionary views ... devising phrases and formulas to express standards of perfection." (104) Although he sought justification from God and right, not the big battalions and might alone, for Lothian such methods may often have represented the best strategy to win broad support in both the United States and Britain for his objectives. While Lothian's habitual employment of such tactics may suggest some underlying temperamental need for moral validation of even the most self-interested course of action, those who use high-flown idealistic rhetoric to justify self-interested national objectives are liable to attract opprobrium and charges of hypocrisy. Lothian's notorious charm, if anything, compounded the offense. The discrepancy between Lothian's idealistic style, his proclamation of broadly universal internationalist goals, and the tough-minded promotion of narrowly British interests his actual policies enshrined, goes far to explain the disproportionate controversy this essentially second-rank figure generated during and long beyond his own lifetime.
(1.) Buchan to J. Walter Buchan, 27 April 1939, File Acc 11627/83, Tweedsmuir Papers, National Library of Scotland, Edinburgh, Scotland; David Reynolds, Lord Lothian and Anglo-American Relations, 1939-1940 (Philadelphia, Pa., 1983), 2-8, 58; David Dilks, ed., The Diaries of Sir Alexander Cadogan O.M. 1938-1945 (London, 1971), 130, 154; John Harvey, ed., The Diplomatic Diaries of Oliver Harvey 1937-1940 (London, 1970), 221, 258-59, 274; Sir John Wheeler-Bennett, Special Relationships: America in Peace and War (London, 1975), 65-68; Robert Vansittart, The Mist Procession: The Autobiography of Lord Vansittart (London, 1958), 254-55.
(2.) Thomas Jones to Eirene Theodora Jones, 18 April 1917, Jones, in Thomas Jones, Whitehall Diary, ed. Keith Middlemas, 3 vols. (London, 1969), 1:30.
(3.) The major source for Lothian's career is still J. R. M. Butler's official biography, Lord Lothian (Philip Kerr) 1882-1940 (London, 1960). A useful memoir by another Kindergarten member is Edward Grigg's introduction in Royal Institute of International Affairs, in The American Speeches of Lord Lothian (Oxford, 1941). The most recent full-length study of Lothian is David Perkins Billington, Jr., "Lothian: Philip Kerr and the Quest for World Order" (Ph.D. diss., University of Texas at Austin, 1995). Two collections of essays focusing largely on Lothian are John Turner, ed., The Larger Idea: Lord Lothian and the Problem of National Sovereignty (London, 1988); and Annals of the Lothian Foundation 1 (1991). Specific aspects of Lothian's career are covered in Walter Nimocks, Milner's Young Men: The "Kindergarten" in Edwardian Imperial Affairs (London, 1970); John Kendle, The Round Table Movement and Imperial Union (Toronto, 1975); John Turner, Lloyd George's Secretariat (Cambridge, 1980); Reynolds, Lord Lothian; and Kathryn Segal Patterson, "The Decline of Dominance: India and the Careers of Lionel Curtis, Philip Lothian, and Reginald Coupland" (Ph.D. diss., Bryn Mawr College, 1989). Recent works in which Lothian is an important protagonist include Nicholas John Cull, Selling War: The British Propaganda Campaign against American "Neutrality" in World War II (New York, 1995); and Norman Rose, The Cliveden Set: Portrait of an Exclusive Fraternity (London, 2000). The Lothian Foundation's recent effort to revive interest in Lothian's life and legacy is at least partly responsible for an ever-growing number of scholarly articles on Lothian, together with reprints of his speeches and writings.
(4.) Butler, Lord Lothian, chs. 14-16, quotation from 318.
(5.) Reynolds, Lord Lothian, quotations from 58, 59; see also Reynolds, "Lothian, Roosevelt, Churchill and the Origins of Lend-Lease," in The Larger Idea, ed. Turner, 93-107.
(6.) Wheeler-Bennett, Special Relationships, quotations from 115-16.
(7.) Cull, Selling War, quotation from 20.
(8.) D. C. Watt, Succeeding John Bull: America in Britain's Place, 1900-1975 (Cambridge, 1984), 97-98.
(9.) Rhodri Jeffreys-Jones, "Lord Lothian and American Democracy: An Illusion in Pursuit of an Illusion," Canadian Review of American Studies 17.4 (Winter 1986): 411-22; and "The Inestimable Advantage of Not Being English: Lord Lothian's American Ambassadorship, 1939-1940," Scottish Historical Review 63.1 (April 1984): 105-10. In a reworking of these pieces Jeffreys-Jones takes a more sympathetic view of Lothian's accomplishments, suggesting that despite his various shortcomings, his "impressive, and perhaps unforeseen diplomatic skill" made him "successful," while as "a political visionary" he was in the longer term "effective." Jeffreys-Jones, "Lord Lothian: 'Ambassador to a People,'" in The Larger Idea, ed. Turner, 77-92, quotations from 91, 92.
(10). Rose, Cliveden Set; cf. Martin Gilbert and Richard Gott, The Appeasers (Boston, Mass., 1963).
(11.) Wheeler-Bennett, Special Relationships, 67; Gordon Martel, ed., The Times and Appeasement: The Journals of A. L. Kennedy, 1932-1939 (Cambridge, 2000), 247; A. Lentin, Lloyd George, Woodrow Wilson, and the Guilt of Germany: An Essay in the Pre-History of Appeasement (Baton Rouge, La., 1984), 146-50; Rose, Cliveden Set, 109-12; Turner, "Lord Lothian and His World," in The Larger Idea, ed. Turner, 13-14. See also Watt's interesting analysis of German efforts to "[predispose] opinion within the British foreign-policy-making elite towards accepting the foreign policy of Nazi Germany." D. C. Watt, Personalities and Policies: Studies in the Formulation of British Policy in the Twentieth Century (London, 1965), 117-35, quotation from 117.
(12). See esp. the following essays: Andrea Bosco, "National Sovereignty and Peace: Lord Lothian's Federalist Thought"; Ira Straus, "Lothian and the Anglo-American Problematic"; and John Pinder, "Prophet Not Without Honour: Lothian and the Federal Idea," in The Larger Idea, ed. Turner, 108-52; and Andrea Bosco, "Lothian, Curtis, Kimber and the Federal Union Movement (1938-40)," Journal of Contemporary History 23 (1988): 462-502.
(13.) Pinder, "'Prophet Not Without Honour,'" esp. 140-42.
(14.) Turner, "Lord Lothian and His World," 19.
(15). Butler, Lord Lothian, 115.
(16.) Turner, "Lord Lothian and His World," 2.
(17.) See esp. George Egerton, Great Britain and the Creation of the League of Nations: Strategy, Politics, and International Organization, 1914-1919 (Chapel Hill, NC, 1978), 63-109; George Egerton, "Conservative Internationalism: British Approaches to International Organization and the Creation of the League of Nations," Diplomacy and Statecraft 5 (1994): 1-20; idem., "Imperialism, Atlanticism, and Internationalism: Philip Kerr and the Creation of the League of Nations Question, 1916-1920," Annals of the Lothian Foundation 1 (1991): 95-122; Michael G. Fry, Illusions of Security: North Atlantic Diplomacy, 1918-22 (Toronto, 1972), 5-67.
(18.) Watt, Succeeding John Bull, 49.
(19.) Watt, Personalities and Policies, 29-30, quotation from 30.
(20.) Included in this list were the entire Salisbury family, including Lord Robert Cecil and his brothers, his brother-in-law Lord Selborne, and his cousin, Conservative Prime Minister and Foreign Secretary Arthur Balfour; wartime Foreign Secretary Sir Edward Grey; James, Viscount Bryce, British ambassador to the United States in the early twentieth century; the British press magnate Lord Northcliffe, proprietor of The Times; St. John Loe Strachey, editor of The Spectator; and also Lord Milner and various members of The Round Table group, especially the American-born Waldorf and Nancy Astor. Egerton, Great Britain and the Creation of the League of Nations, 63-109; Fry, Illusions of Security, 5-67; Max Beloff, Imperial Sunset: Britain's Liberal Empire, 1897-1921 (New York, 1970), 43-46; Bradford Perkins, The Great Rapprochement: Britain and the United States, 1895-1914 (New York, 1968), 51-53, 65-67; Stuart Anderson, Race and Rapprochement: Anglo-Saxonism and Anglo-American Relations, 1895-1904 (East Brunswick, N.J., 1981), 86-94, 112-29; David Dimbleby and David Reynolds, An Ocean Apart: The Relationship Between Britain and America in the Twentieth Century (London, 1988), 25-33; Watt, Personalities and Policies, 24-32; idem., Succeeding John Bull, 24-163.
(21.) Reginald Horsman, Race and Manifest Destiny: The Origins of American Racial Anglo-Saxonism (Cambridge, Mass., 1981); Anderson, Race and Rapprochement; Richard Hofstadter, Social Darwinism in American Thought, rev. ed. (Boston, Mass., 1955), esp. 170-84; Perkins, Great Rapprochement, 74-83.
(22.) Alfred T. Mahan, The Interest of America in Sea Power, Present and Future (Boston, Mass., 1897), esp. 27, 49-51, 55, 107-34, 185-90, 257-59; idem., Lessons of the War with Spain (Boston, Mass., 1900), 289-98; idem. The Interest of America in International Conditions (Boston, Mass., 1910), esp. 35-124, 158-85; Philip A. Crowl, "Alfred Thayer Mahan: The Naval Historian," in Makers of Modern Strategy from Machiavelli to the Nuclear Age, ed. Peter Paret (Princeton, N.J., 1986), 444-77; Robert Seager II, Alfred Thayer Mahan: The Man and His Letters (Annapolis, Md., 1977), 148-49, 225-26, 348-51,522-25; Bernard Semmel, Liberalism and Naval Strategy: Ideology, Interest, and Sea Power during the Pax Britannica (Boston, Mass., 1986), 90-95; Jon Tetsuo Sumida, Inventing Grand Strategy and Teaching Command: The Classic Works of Alfred Thayer Mahan (Washington, D.C., 1997), esp. 80-92; Warren Zimmermann, First Great Triumph: How Five Americans Made Their Country into a World Power (New York, 2002), esp. ch. 3.
(23.) Kerr to Balfour, 3 May 1909, and enclosure, in Arthur Balfour Papers, British Library, cited in Beloff, Imperial Sunset, 168 n. 3; Billington, "Lothian," 62. There is no evidence in the Theodore Roosevelt Papers to suggest that Balfour forwarded this material to Roosevelt.
(24.) Quoted in Butler, Lord Lothian, 40. Somewhat imperceptively, he continued: "It is really extraordinarily like England."
(25.) Royal Institute of International Affairs, The American Speeches of Lord Lothian, xlu, first quotation from ibid., 1.
(26.) Kerr to Sir Herbert Baker, 6 October 1912, cited in Butler, Lord Lothian, 253.
(27.) Quoted in ibid., 144.
(28.) G. L. Beer, "American Public Opinion and the War," The Round Table 20 (1915): 797-839; Beer, "America's Reaction to the War," The Round Table 22 (1916): 285-314; Beer, "The United States and the Future Peace," The Round Table 26 (1917): 285-317; Beer, "America's Entrance into the War," The Round Table 27 (1917): 491-514; Beer, The English-Speaking Peoples, their Future and Joint International Obligations (New York, 1917); Kendle, Round Table Movement, 195 n. 44, 252; Deborah Lavin, From Empire to International Commonwealth: A Biography of Lionel Curtis (Oxford, 1995), 160.
(29.) "The Price of War," The Round Table 18 (1915): 312-22, quotation from 312. The author of this article may well have been fellow Round Table member F. S. Oliver. Cf. "The End of the War," The Round Table 20 (1915): 779; "The Principle of Peace," The Round Table 23 (1916): 391.
(30). "The War for Public Right," The Round Table 22 (1916): 217-19, 221-23,225,227; "The Principle of Peace," 394, 423; "War Aims," The Round Table 24 (1916): 609; Prevention of War, 16-19, 30-33.
(31.) Kerr, "The Harvest of the War," 26-29, quotations from 27, 28; cf. "The War for Public Right," 216-17
(32.) Kerr, "The Principle of Peace," 423-24, quotations from 423, 424.
(33.) Page to Arthur W. Page, 25 July 1915, in Burton J. Hendrick, The Life and Letters of Walter Hines Page, 3 vols. (Garden City, N.Y., 1922), 2:84-87, quotation from 85; Butler, Lord Lothian, 59.
(34.) On Page's policies, see Ross Gregory, Walter Hines Page: Ambassador to the Court of St. James's (Lexington, Ky., 1970); and John Milton Cooper, Jr., Walter Hines Page: The Southerner as American, 1855-1918 (Chapel Hill, N.C., 1977).
(35.) Kerr, "The Harvest of the War," The Round Table 21 (1915): 1-32, quotations from 15, 19, 29.
(36.) Kerr, "The War for Public Right," 193-231, quotation from 226.
(37.) Kerr, "The Principle of Peace," 391-429, quotations from 422, 423.
(38.) Page to Arthur W. Page, 25 July 1915, in Hendrick, Walter Hines Page, 2:84-85; Butler, Lord Lothian, 59.
(39.) Billington, "Lothian," 123-24.
(40.) Numerous examples of Kerr's detailed concern to improve Anglo-American relations are scattered through his voluminous correspondence as secretary to Lloyd George, Files GD40/17/26-80 and 517-1421, Papers of Lord Lothian, Scottish National Archives, Edinburgh, Scotland.
(41.) John Grigg, Lloyd George: War Leader (New York, 2002), 301-04.
(42.) Kerr to C. J. B. Hurst, 25 November 1919, File GD40/17/211/551-53, Lothian Papers; Kerr, "Harvest of Victory," 668-69; Kerr to Curtis, 15 October 1918, quoted in Butler, Lord Lothian, 68-70; ibid., 74-75; Lavin, From Empire to International Commonwealth, 160-63; Kendle, Round Table Movement, 252-58; Fry, Illusions of Security, 24-25.
(43.) Kerr, memorandum on the League of Nations, Jan. 1919, File GD40/54, Lothian Papers ]reprinted in Egerton, "Conservative Internationalism," 17-19]; Egerton, "Conservative Internationalism," 1-20; idem., "Imperialism, Atlanticism, and Internationalism," 95-122; Fry, Illusions of Security, 18-26.
(44.) Kerr, "The British Empire, the League of Nations, and the United States," The Round Table 38 (1920): 221-53, quotation from 247; Butler, Lord Lothian, 79.
(45.) Kerr to Rev. J. Morgan Gibbon, 14 June 1920, File GD401/7/209/362-63, Lothian Papers.
(46.) Butler, Lord Lothian, 102-04, 117-18.
(47.) Kerr, "A Programme for the British Commonwealth," The Round Table 46 (1922): 247.
(48.) Philip Kerr and Lionel Curtis, The Prevention of War (New Haven, Conn., 1923), 7-74, quotations from 41, 49, 71.
(49.) Kerr et al., Approaches to World Problems (New Haven, Conn., 1924), 75-120, quotation from 117.
(50.) Kerr, "The Secretary's Report on Visit to Canada and the United States," 6 October 1926, quoted in Billington, "Lothian," 214; also Butler, Lord Lothian, 126-43; Anthony Kenny, ed., The History of the Rhodes Trust 1902-1999 (Oxford, 2001), esp. 25-39, 125-42, 371-400, 479-516; Frank Aydelotte, The American Rhodes Scholarships: A Review of the First Forty Years (Princeton, N.J., 1946); Godfrey Elton, ed., The First Fifty Years of the Rhodes Trust and the Rhodes Scholarships 1903-1953 (Oxford, 1955), 16-32, 157-59, 161-62, 197-201, 209-10.
(51.) Lothian to Frank Aydelotte, 12 May 1933, quoted in Butler, Lord Lothian, 135-36.
(52.) See Lothian's substantial speeches and writings file, GD40/17/411-44, Lothian Papers.
(53.) Kerr, "A Programme for the British Commonwealth," The Round Table 46 (1922): 229-52, quotations from 234, 244; Butler, Lord Lothian, 107-10.
(54.) Kerr, "The British Commonwealth, the Protocol and the League," The Round Table 57 (1924): 1-23; Kerr, "Europe, the Covenant, and the Protocol," The Round Table 58 (1925): 219-41; Butler, Lord Lothian, 111-14; Billington, "Lothian," 236-39.
(55.) Kerr, "The Locarno Treaties," The Round Table 61 (1925): 1-28; Butler, Lord Lothian, 115; Billington, "Lothian," 239-41.
(56.) Kerr, memorandum for Group on Disarmament and Security, 1927, File 4/LOTH, Individual Files, Royal Institute of International Affairs Archives, Chatham House, London.
(57.) See Files GD40/171117-19, Lothian Papers; correspondence scattered through Files GD40/17/226-54, Lothian Papers; Kerr, "The Outlawry of War," International Affairs 7 (1928): 361-88; "Outlawry of War," The Round Table 71 (1928): 455-76; "The Peace Pact," The Round Table 72 (1928): 727-45; "A Plea for an Independent Foreign Policy," The Round Table 73 (December 1928): 1-25; "The British Commonwealth, Freedom and the Seas," The Round Table 74 (1928): 229-56; Kerr to Norman H. Davis, 5 June 1928, 20 December 1928, enclosing Kerr to Walter Lippmann, 20 December 1928, Kerr to Davis, 4 March 1929, Box 40, Norman H. Davis Papers, Manuscripts Division, Library of Congress, Washington, D.C.; Butler, Lord Lothian, 118-21.
(58.) See Kerr's correspondence with W. C. Bridgeman, 1927, File GD40/171226152-58.
(59.) "The Naval Conference," The Round Table 68 (1927): 659-83; "The Naval Problem," The Round Table 70 (1928): 223-55; "The British Commonwealth, Freedom and the Seas," The Round Table 74 (1929): 229-56; "Naval Disarmament," The Round Table 75 (1929): 447-64; "The London Conference," The Round Table 77 (1929): 1-21; Kerr to Davis, 20 March, 5 June, 20 December 1928, enclosing Kerr to Lippmann, 20 December 1928, Kerr to Davis, 24 May 1929, enclosing Kerr, "The Anglo-American Naval Problem," Box 40, Davis Papers.
(60.) Kerr to Frank B. Kellogg, 30 April 1929, Reel 38, Frank B. Kellogg Papers, Manuscripts Division, Library of Congress, Washington, D.C.
(61.) Kerr, "The Anglo-American Naval Problem," enclosed in Kerr to Davis, 24 May 1929, Box 40, Davis Papers.
(62.) Files GD40/17/97-104, Lothian Papers; materials in File 9/9, Anglo-American Relations Study Group, RIIA Archives, quotation from Kerr, draft memorandum, 2 November 1928.
(63.) Howland, "Outline for the Report of the Anglo-American Group," 17 January 1929, ibid.; Kerr, "The Outlawry of War," International Affairs 7 (1928): 361-88; "The Naval Problem," The Round Table 70 (1928): 223-55; "The British Commonwealth, Freedom and the Seas," The Round Table 74 (1929): 229-56; "Naval Disarmament," The Round Table 75 (1929): 447-64.
(64.) Report of Study Group of Members of the Council on Foreign Relations on the Anglo-American Naval Question, 1 June 1929, ibid.
(65.) Butler, Lord Lothian, 122.
(66.) Lothian, Memorandum on Sanctions, enclosed in Pauline Child to Stephen King-Hall, 12 January 1934, File 9/8c, Sanctions Group, Study Group Files, RIIA Archives.
(67.) Dove, "British Foreign Policy," 3 May 1933, File GD40/17/276/575-56, Lothian Papers.
(68.) Butler, Lord Lothian, 197-200, also 213-17.
(69.) Lothian to Eden, 3 June 1936, in Butler, Lord Lothian, 354-62.
(70.) Lothian, notes for speech in the House of Lords, 2 March 1937, File GD40/17/443/283-85, Lothian Papers.
(71.) Lothian, "The Anglo-American Naval Problems," 24 August 1934, File GD40/17/280/1-8, Lothian Papers.
(72.) "Isolation, Alliance, or Kellogg Pact," The Round Table 95 (1934): 469-89; "Navies and the Pacific," The Round Table 96 (1934): 693-716; "Power Politics in the Pacific," The Round Table 97 (1934): 1-20; see also Lothian to Sir Reginald Haskins, 23 May 1935, File GD40/17/289/31, Lothian Papers; Henry L. Stimson, diary, 5, 8, 22, 30 October 1934, 20 March 1935, Diary and Papers of Henry L. Stimson (microfilm ed.), Sterling Library, Yale University, New Haven, CT; Lothian to the editor, The Times (18 February 1935), enclosed in Lothian to Stimson, 22 February 1935, Reel 88, Stimson Papers; Billington, "Lothian," 317-21; Watt, Personalities and Policies, 95-99; Rose, Cliveden Set, 140-43.
(73.) Lothian to J. W. Dafoe, 3 January 1934, File GD40/17/273/255, Lothian Papers; Lothian, "The Recoil from Freedom," The Round Table 93 (1933): 4; cf. A. L. Rowse, Appeasement: A Study in Political Decline (New York, 1961), 31.
(74.) Butler, Lord Lothian, 197, 205-07; Billington, "Lothian," 334-36.
(75.) Lothian, memorandum, 17 February 1935, File GD40/17/202/121-22, Lothian Papers; Lothian to Joachim von Ribbentrop, 20 March, 11 April 1935, File GD40/17/202/149-56, 164-66; Butler, Lord Lothian, 202-04.
(76.) Lothian to Eden, 3 June 1936, in Butler, Lord Lothian, 354-62, quotation from 355.
(77.) Butler, Lord Lothian, 217-19; the full text of these interviews is given in Butler, 337-353. As requested, Davis passed on his copies of these interviews to Roosevelt. Lothian to Davis, 7 May 1937, enclosing memorandum, "Interview with Hitler, May 4th, 1937," "Interview with General Goering, May 4th, 1937," "Dr. Schacht, May 5th 1937," File Germany 1933-1938, Box 31, President's Secretary's File, Franklin D. Roosevelt Papers, Franklin D. Roosevelt Presidential Library, Hyde Park, N.Y.
(78.) Butler, Lord Lothian, 225-26; Billington, "Lothian," 363-66.
(79.) Butler, Lord Lothian, 227-28; Billington, "Lothian," 369-70.
(80.) William E. Dodd, diary entry, 6 May 1935, in William E. Dodd, Jr., and Martha Dodd, Ambassador Dodd's Diary 1933-1938 (New York, 1941), 241; cf. William C. Bullitt to Roosevelt, 10 January 1937, in For the President Personal and Secret: Correspondence between Franklin D. Roosevelt and William C. Bullitt, ed. Orville H. Bullitt (Boston, 1972), 204.
(81.) See, e.g., Lothian to F. T. Prince, 28 August 1937, File 9/15c, Group Anglo-American Cooperation-War Debts Committee Correspondence, Study Group Files, RIIA Archives. Further information on the War Debts group is to be found in this file and File 9/15d, War Debts Committee Correspondence Memorandum, Study Group Files, RIIA Archives; File Anglo-American Relations Group 1937-38, Records of Groups, Council on Foreign Relations Papers; Priscilla Roberts, "Underpinning the Anglo-American Alliance: The Council on Foreign Relations and Anglo-American Relations Between the Wars," in Twentieth-Century Anglo-American Relations, ed. Jonathan Hollowell (Basingstoke, 2001), 34-35.
(82.) Margaret E. Cleeve to Mr. Hubbard, August 24, 1938, File 9/15a, Anglo-American Cooperation Group-Proposed Study Group, RIIA Archives.
(83.) Meetings Files, Council on Foreign Relations Papers.
(84.) Digest of dinner discussion, 20 October 1936, Meetings File, Council on Foreign Relations Papers.
(85.) Lothian, "The Prevention of War," Williamstown lectures, 1922, "Pacifism Is Not Enough Nor Patriotism Either," Burge lecture, 1935, "The Demonic Influence of National Sovereignty," 1937, "National Sovereignty and Peace," 1938, in Lord Lothian, Pacifism is not enough: Collected Lectures and Speeches of Lord Lothian (Philip Kerr), ed. John Pinder and Andrea Bosco (London, 1990), 39-85, 179-263; Kerr and Curtis, The Prevention of War; Kerr et al., Approaches to World Problems; Lothian, Memorandum on Sanctions, enclosed in Clarke to Stephen King-Hall, 12 January 1934, File 9/8c, Sanctions Group, Study Group Files, RIIA Archives; Lothian, "New League or No League," International Conciliation 325 (1936): 589-604; essays by Bosco, Straus, and Pinder in The Larger Idea, 108-52.
(86.) Lothian to Stimson, 11 February 1937, Reel 92, Stimson Papers; cf. Thomas Jones to Lady Grigg, 25 February 1936, in A Diary with Letters 1931-1950, ed. Jones (London, 1954), 176-77.
(87.) See essays by Straus and Pinder cited supra; also Bosco, "Lothian, Curtis, Kimber," 462-502; Lothian, Pacifism is not enough, 21-22; Lothian, "Democracy and World Order," The Observer (5 March 1939); correspondence with Clarence Streit and others on federal union, 1938-39, Files GD40/17/369-97, Lothian Papers.
(88.) Reynolds, Lord Lothian, 1-5; Butler, Lord Lothian, 257-58.
(89.) Roberts, "Underpinning the Anglo-American Alliance," 39-42.
(90.) Buchan to J. Walter Buchan, 27 April 1939, File Acc 11627/83, Tweedsmuir Papers.
(91.) Dalton, diary entry, 24 October 1940, in The Second World War Diary of Hugh Dalton, ed. Ben Pimlott (London, 1986), 93.
(92.) Oscar Gass to Harry Dexter White, 1 May 1939, Vol. 187, Diaries of Henry Morgenthau, Jr., Franklin D. Roosevelt Presidential Library, Hyde Park, N.Y.
(93.) Watt, Personalities and Policies, 173-74.
(94.) Buchan to J. Walter Buchan, 2 February 1939, File Acc 11627/83, Tweedsmuir Papers.
(95.) Lothian, memorandum on Neutrality, misdated 1938[?], Reel 47, Cordell Hull Papers, Manuscripts Division, Library of Congress, Washington, D.C.; see also drafts of this manuscript, 7 February 1939, Box 40, Davis Papers.
(96.) Lothian to Smuts, 6 June 1939, quoted in Butler, Lord Lothian, 233-35.
(97.) This theme was sounded frequently in the speeches reprinted in RIIA, American Speeches of Lord Lothian. On the "Lothian thesis," see Susan A. Brewer, To Win the Peace: British Propaganda in the United States during World War II (Ithaca, N.Y., 1997), 98, 190-91.
(98.) Lothian to Sidney Braithwaite, 29 April 1940, File GD40/17/399/175-76, Lothian Papers.
(99.) Dalton, diary entry, 24 October 1940, in Second World War Diary of Hugh Dalton, ed. Pimlott (1986), 93; Memorandum, "Lord Lothian's Last Talk at Cliveden," , Reel 7, Lord Altrincham (Edward Grigg) Papers, Bodleian Library, Oxford University; Reynolds, Lord Lothian, 40; Kendle, Round Table Movement, 295.
(100.) In 1940 the American naval attache in London suspected he was "trying to work out something in the way of influencing the United States through the many Rhodes scholars who have been passed back to us from Oxford." Raymond E. Lee, diary entry, 3 November 1940, The London Journal of General Raymond E. Lee 1940-1941, ed. James Leutze (Boston, MA, 1971), 120.
(101.) Wheeler-Bennett, Special Relationships, 72-73, quotation from 118; Frank Thistlethwaite, Our War 1938-45 (Cambridge, 1997), 46-50.
(102.) Lee, diary entry, 13 December 1940, in London Journals of General Raymond E. Lee, ed. Leutze, 174.
(103.) Winston Churchill, The Second World War, 6 vols. (London, 1948-54), 2:490: Reynolds, Lord Lothian, 43-48.
(104.) Beatrice Webb, diary entry, 3 June 1917, in Beatrice Webb's Diaries 1912-1924, ed. Margaret I. Cole (London, 952), 85.
Priscilla Roberts is a lecturer in history and director of the Centre of American Studies at the University of Hong Kong.
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